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Big G

Alignment on a KE55

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So I had to take the Princess' hardtop to get new shoes on Saturday. No problem there got the mandatory wheel alignment as you do. I asked the tech how much did he need to adjust the front to get it aligned as the passanger front was well worn on both sides. He said it was a bit out and said it was as good as he could get it bearing in mind there is limited adjustment on the camber on these old cars. My question is is there anything after market i can get to give better adjustment ability and prolong the life of the tyres. 

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Thought the only adjustment was toe and castor.

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Coln's right, no camber adjustment from factory. You can check it yourself with a spirit level, (Sigh.. or a smart-phone app!)  and if its out far enough to worry you, buy camber-tops. Cheapest is to slot the mounting holes in the turret top and spotweld washers on in the new position.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Toyota-Corolla-Levin-KE70-AE86-TE71-Adjustable-Absorber-Camber-Pillow-Ball-Mount/183145049280?epid=7015422566&hash=item2aa44bacc0:g:ooMAAOSwOvhatnNL

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Did you get a print out of the wheel alignment? there should be a before and after.

The other option to camber tops is offset control arm bolts. You don't get as much adjustment though i don't think. 

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I wouldn’t have thought there was a need to fiddle with camber for the sort of work the car gets used for. 

I would wonder if he had the specifications in his computer to know where to set toe in and castor at, and to check camber is within spec.  I remember sometime back someone being told their car was too old to appear in the system. 

Ill have specs in a Toyota manual if you need them. 

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" the passanger front was well worn on both sides "

What was the other front tyre like?  Negative camber takes out the inside edge, positive camber takes off the outside edge, and toe strips the tyre right across. Low tyre pressures wear both edges, high tyre pressures wear the center out. Just seems odd....

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Hi Graeme,

                    Having taken a long time to get my front suspension right, on my KE30 2 door sedan, a few years ago, I learnt a lot, from research, & the end results of changes I made, on the alignment setup, at Fulcrum at Browns Plains, because Darryl there, was a Rollanut.  (Unfortunately, our mate Darryl pasted away with cancer, in January this year)

The Rollas of the early 70s were assembled/stitch spot welded in Melbourne, & the jigging left a little to be desired. They were not all dead straight when they came off the line, & as Coln says, the only adjustments were toe & caster adjustment.

Anyone who has jacked up one corner of a KE, has well realised, that there is a lot of torsional give in the KE bodies.   (My 2 door pillarless KE55 Coupe, was a shocker for torsional twist.) That's why those that drift them, seam weld the bodies from one end to the other.

Over the years, the bodies find a new position & attitude, but no more so, than on the front strut towers, which are not tied together at the top.  Hence why it is common, for stays to be fitted between strut tower tops & also bracing back to the rear engine firewall.

700026364_Strutbrace.jpeg.36f9e74f43ddc5051b971d54ee19652f.jpeg

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In addition to that, cross ply tyres were about the only option in those days, & the camber required was straight up & down.  A big fat zero.

However, with radials, a bit of negative camber can add a lot of stability to the steering, as McPherson strut front ends, have always had a few quirks.

However, from my experience, the maximum negative camber, you can apply to a KE series  for normal everyday driving, like your girls car experiences, is about 1 deg.  I've settled for 0.6 deg, & the car now behaves much much better than it originally did. No shimming !

The problem with providing negative camber, is that you either make the LCAs longer, or pull the top of the strut back inwards.  Unfortunately, the KE30/35/55 series used large diameter springs, & there was never much room to bring the top of the strut in, whether you fitted T3 camber adjusters, or like Altezzaclub suggested, slot the holes & weld some washers onto the top, to give some strength.

1792970797_TechnoToyCamberTopsmall.jpg.216a95f1858b46d0d207fd6885fbe2ed.jpg

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However, the KE70, used the smallest diameter coil springs on the front end of any of the early KEs, & therefore Graeme probably has a little chance, of introducing a bit of negative camber, unless you fit narrower springs.  I actually converted my KE30 front struts to accept the KE70 coil spings, so the narrower strut/spring assembly, could lean back further, without touching the strut support inner turret wall. The other way to get a narrow strut profile, is to go "coilovers", as the springs used on them are not very wide.

DSC00333Small.thumb.jpg.a79a7138a8ea57d764e157b9024e1907.jpg

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It is a very well worth while modification, to achieve a better controllable front suspension.  Castor adjustment, on KEs is probably described, as screw the rods up, as much as is possible.  I'm not suggesting that camber adjustment is the only contributing fact. Good LCA ball joints, steering ball joints, & that all important steering idler pivot bushes, & wheel balance, all contribute. From my experience, all McPherson strut design front ends, rely on very good wheel balance, for smooth & stable front end geometry.

P.S.  Never neglect the misalignment in the body from front to rear. Up to 10mm is quite common, & I've followed a number of olde KEs over the years, & seen the noticeable slight crabbing action. 

Cheers Banjo 

  

Edited by Banjo

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Hey Guys thanks for the responses I just got hold of the alignment report and posted it for your perusal. I tried to decipher it and relate it to your comments but alas I am a bit bewildered. So if you can check out the results and give me some advice it would be appreciated. 

20190509_191926.jpg

Edited by Big G
Typo

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Hi Graeme,

                    Saved your photo of wheel alignment report, then zoomed in, but not enough resolution to read very clearly.  Looks like +ve camber on both sides.

See if you can take a photo with a bit more resolution.

Cheers Banjo

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C'mon Banjo, get those old Photoshop skills out..

Toe was 2.5mm in, mainly lefthand side, now 0.9mm in & even. That would have scrubbed the front left tyre.

Camber is +50' both sides, unchanged. Meh, horrible but typical.

Caster 2deg 10' left and 1deg 30' right, unchanged, so it climbs up the  road camber..

Rear axle is crooked, not enough to notice...

 

Does it drive nicely Graeme?

 

 

Big G wheel align.jpg

Edited by altezzaclub

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https://www.ozzytyres.com.au/news/wheel-alignment-101-lets-talk-camber-caster-toe/

 

...and...   what's wrong with the "caster" diagram here, a giant multinational company full of highly skilled & highly paid engineers & techs?

https://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/tire-tread-wear-causes

 

Edited by altezzaclub

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She drives really well considering her age the steering is tight and there appears to be no drift off in any direction when travelling in a straight line. In saying that I rarely get to drive her much, I can't confirm what it was like before the new tyres went on and the alignment was done. So..armed with this info is there anything that needs to be done and what are your recommendations. I'm not too keen on doing bodgey stuff like cutting and welding but happy to use aftermarket bolt in stuff. Or is it a matter of just getting regular rotations and alignments.

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Just lie on the ground and check the tyre tread wear every couple of months. If it is even enough then just swap front to rear once a year.

Unless you are keen about how it turns in when you toss it into a corner with some enthusiasm, I wouldn't do anything. If you think it understeers too much then try to get zero camber, hence the slotting of the strut holes in the towers or the camber adjusters  in Banjo's post there. It all depends on how you drive it.. 

The factory toe setting is for maximum tyre life, the factory camber is for safe gradual understeer and the factory castor is to give self-centering on the steering wheel without making it too heavy. They're all compromises.

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It is the Princess' rolla so there is no enthusiastic throwing into corners on my part and the Princess drives very politely. I will keep an eye on the wear and rotate as necessary as you suggest. The last set of tyres lasted 2 plus years with about 40 thousand Ks to their credit so I can't really complain. Thanks for your help guys as always I end up a bit better informed than I was before I started. 

Edited by Big G
typo

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The last set of tyres lasted 2 plus years with about 40 thousand Ks to their credit so I can't really complain

My wife's 2009 Corolla, gets regular wheel & tyre service at Bob Janes, where they keep tabs on it, & have full computer records of everything they have done on the car, & odometer readings at each service.  My wife's car, like all our Toyotas, are fitted with Pirelli Cinturato tyres.  On her last set of new tyres, fitted about 6-7 months ago, they informed me, that my wife, is the second highest listed driver on that branches records, for mileage out of a set of tyres.  She achieved 94000 klms.  She was pipped by another lady at Jimboomba, who only drives Jimboomba to Browns Plains return each day, & achieved 96000 klms.

Cheers Banjo

 

Edited by Banjo

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